Katie Kieffer

If we are serious about creating jobs, then we should treat entrepreneurs like fish. Just as fish need a certain environment to live, entrepreneurs require a unique environment to take risks and create jobs.

A fish is a distinctive creature. Unlike a horse or a cow, a fish has the innate ability to breath and live under water. If you remove a fish from water and place it in a sunny pasture beside farm animals, it will die.

Likewise, an intelligent person will become depressed and self-loathing if he is unable to put his ideas and solutions into action. He will retreat into himself and fail to deliver his much-needed goods and services to the world.

Just like fish have special under-water breathing gear called gills, entrepreneurs inherently possess creative minds, strong work ethics, optimistic outlooks and perseverance. Yet these personality traits will do little for an entrepreneur if he or she lives in an environment that is over-regulated, rigid and disapproving—just as gills are useless to a fish lying on dry grass.

Basically, entrepreneurs need freedom, flexibility and encouragement in order to build profitable businesses and create jobs just like fish need water and a healthy, barrier-free environment in order to live.

Many politicians feign to help budding entrepreneurs by subsidizing pet industries and raising taxes on already-successful entrepreneurs. In truth, entrepreneurs don’t need politicians to interfere with the markets or tell them how to become entrepreneurs.

Let’s say a man is an expert at drilling for oil but the government shuts down his well and tells him to build windmills instead. The government is effectively telling him to warp his natural talents, stop fulfilling market needs and begin worshipping at the alter of artificial demands.

The government could help people born with entrepreneurial “gills” by backing off and giving them the “water” of freedom and autonomy that they need to survive. Backing off means drastically slashing the corporate income tax rate and reducing regulations on business owners.

Capitol Hill recently invited 150 young entrepreneurs to Washington to meet with politicians. One young entrepreneur shared his takeaways from the meeting with the New York Times: “…it might be too much to ask Washington to help with entrepreneurship when they (politicians) can’t even get the basics right, like maintaining a decent credit rating.”


Katie Kieffer

Katie Kieffer is the author of a new book published by Random House, LET ME BE CLEAR: Barack Obama’s War on Millennials and One Woman’s Case for Hope.” She writes a weekly column for Townhall.com. She also runs KatieKieffer.com.



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